A decision to close a practice
We can, in effect, close a practice. We call this an "intervention". An intervention is a step taken to protect clients'interests and money, in the public interest. It is a protective measure, and does not necessarily mean we have made any findings against a regulated firm or individual.
We may publish a decision to intervene into a firm or into the practice of an individual.
The main things that we do during an intervention:
- Stop the firm from operating; take possession of all documents and papers held by the firm (including clients' papers), and
- Take possession of all money held by the firm (including clients' money).
Legislation gives us a range of reasons for intervention. These are known as "grounds".
We can intervene if
- there are grounds to intervene, such as suspected dishonesty, and
- an intervention is needed to protect the public.
If you are the client of a firm that we have closed in this way, read more about interventions. You can find advice on what to do next and how to claim back money and papers that we may be holding.
Legislation covering interventions
For more detail about our grounds for intervention, follow these links:
- Solicitors' practices—section 35 and Schedule 1 of the Solicitors Act 1974 (as amended)
- Registered European lawyers—section 35 and Schedule 1 of the Solicitors Act 1974 as applied by the European Communities (Lawyers Practice) Regulations 2000 (ECR 2000)
- Registered foreign lawyers—Schedule 1 of the Solicitors Act 1974 as applied by paragraph 5 of Part II of Schedule 14 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990
- Recognised bodies—Schedule 1 of the Solicitors Act 1974 as applied by paragraphs 32-35 of Schedule 2 of the Administration of Justice Act 1985
In each case, the grounds on which we can intervene are different.
A regulated firm or individual can appeal to the High Court against our decision to close their practice.
Not all regulatory decisions are published—read more about our approach to publication.
Only decisions made since early 2008 are published on this site. Most decisions remain on the site for a minimum of three years.
For the most up-to-date and complete picture of an individual's regulatory record,
please contact us.
Read more about how we regulate.